Justice Minister David Ford has helped the Police Federation to launch a new campaign showing the human face of police officers.
The #WeAreYou initiative is made up of three short films which will be screened in cinemas and streamed on social media platforms.
The films show the pressures faced by police officers as they combine the challenges of their job with the everyday life problems that we all have to face.
Speaking during a reception in Parliament Buildings where the three films were given their first public showing David Ford said: “The three short films are stark and thought-provoking. They illustrate the daily challenges faced by officers who leave their homes to confront situations that demand courage and split-second decision-making.
“For many people the day ahead may be mapped out and generally routine, but our police officers can never be quite sure what they will have to face when they go to work. They serve the community while at the same time balancing the everyday life pressures and problems that we all have to deal with.
“These brave officers are parents, spouses, children, siblings, friends and neighbours. I urge people to look beyond the uniform and give them the respect and understanding they deserve.”
PFNI chairman Mark Lindsay said that, for too long, officers were seen as separate from the community but, out of uniform, they faced the same pressures as everyone else.
“They have to worry about mortgages, schools, debt, everyday bills ... They deserve to be better understood. We’re not asking for adulation, just a bit of latitude that we are human beings doing a trying and challenging job for our entire community.”